Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (56)

Waiting on Wednesday/s are hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine in which you choose a book or books that you're excited and waiting for.
This week's Waiting on Wednesday book is...

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: May 3rd 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Target

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Reasons for why I am super excited to read this:

1) I absolutely LOVED A Court of Thorns and Roses, it was actually the second best of I read last 2015 (the first being Queen of Shadows, obviously). I am really looking forward to seeing Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, and Rhys (him, most of all) again and finding out what they're up to in this one. I can already imagine ACOMAF to be grittier, more angsty and steamier than ACOTAR.
2) Sarah mentioned how the map gets more filled out in ACOMAF and I'm very excited to explore the world of Pythian even more and see what adventures and dangers lay ahead, as well as see the rest of the Courts and meet their respective fae members. If there's one thing I love about Sarah's writing, it's her incredible world building, every word in every sentence is written to make a reader truly experience the different settings, textures, and feelings. You should check out Sarah's Pinterest board for the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, it's filled with sooo many pretties and will legit tease you about everything. You can see it HERE.
3) A Hades and Persephone retelling? I AM ALREADY THERE. I have always been in love with the Hades and Persephone mythology and I know that Sarah will do the concept justice. Looking forward to seeing how she portrays that in ACOMAF.
4) Major, major cover lust! The covers of the ACOTAR books are my absolutely favourite amongst all of Sarah's novels. And from what she's been hinting, there are some secrets buried in this cover itself and I just cannot wait to uncover them.
5) I will 1000000000% read anything by Sarah J. Maas. Anything. She could write a version of the phone book and I'd still read it.

What are you looking forward to this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (32)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews! It's where bloggers can share what they got for review, bought, borrowed, won or gifted (both physical and eBooks may be included! :D)

Here are the awesome bookish things I got recently:


An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir (Goodreads)
The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski (Goodreads)
The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski (Goodreads)

For review:

Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica Rossi (Goodreads)
The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian (Goodreads)
*ARC* Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera (Goodreads)
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (Goodreads)
*ARC* Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (Goodreads)
*ARC* The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash (Goodreads)
*ARC* Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (Goodreads)

So many thanks to the amazing people at Tor, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins International and Fully Booked! Incredibly excited to dive into these awesome reads.

What did YOU get in your mailbox this week? Let me know!

Friday, April 22, 2016

ARC Review: Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: Down with the Shine
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

There's a reason they say "be careful what you wish for." Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for "balls of steel" and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it's too late-after she brings some of her uncles' moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn't mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles' moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their "important family legacy," she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can't be unmade...
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I had so much fun reading Down with the Shine, the events that transpired in the book were unexpected and outrageous that I just couldn't help but enjoy myself. This is actually the first novel I've read written by Kate Karyus Quinn and from what I've seen of her other books, they seemed really dark and gritty which are characteristics that can also be seen in Down with the Shine but layered with an ounce of absurdity and snark that shifted its dark themes into something lighter and wholly funnier.

When I first read the blurb I thought that the story would only revolve around Lennie trying to fix all the crazy wishes that were granted but in actuality the plot was deeper and more mysterious than that. I don't want to get too much into the details because I feel like the purpose of the vague synopsis is to really shock the reader and I don't want to ruin that "holy crap" moment for anyone. All I'm going to say is that Down with the Shine is an enigma, don't let its weirdness fool you. This book is far from refined or perfect but the way Kate Karyus Quinn weaves the story is so wack that everything makes so much sense.

What really made me like this story was how trippy everything was (I'm on a roll with all these trippy books, I swear). The craziness didn't start when the wishes started happening, nope, everything went down as soon as the first chapter passed. Lennie's whole life is a twisty mess of thrills, magic and moonshine. The consistence of the oddness of the story added to its appeal and I liked that Kate Karyus Quinn didn't do anything half-assed, it's like she decided that if the story was already going to be weird, might as well keep adding to that quickly growing heap of awesome mess. The concept of wishes meshed with moonshine was so far out and so unique and I knew as soon as I read that bit about Down with the Shine that this book would be incredibly interesting, and I was right.

Down with the Shine is like nothing I've read before, and though the plot was really odd, I enjoyed it. There was so much going on but the different aspects of this book went so well together even though they normally wouldn't have (props to Kate Karyus Quinn for the cohesiveness of the story). The ending felt a little like a cop out for me though but it was okay, nothing as impressive as the actual story. I'm actually looking forward to reading Kate Karyus Quinn's other novels and seeing how different her writing is per book because I just know that is this different from her typical style; and if you're looking for a little romance, a lot of thrills and even more craziness, then you definitely need to try this one out.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What I love about A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES...

It's that time of the year again, the time when Sarah J. Maas is about to drop a hella awesome new book. The second book of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, A Court of Mist and Fury, comes out May 3rd so Bloomsbury decided to host the #ACOTARreadalong (follow the hashtag on Twitter and join the conversation)! I'm here to share what I love about A Court of Thorns and Roses and I have five reasons for you.
  1. The details are gorgeous. I absolutely love how Sarah's paints intricate pictures and sceneries, especially since Feyre is a painter herself. Seeing things through her artistic eyes gives a depth and uniqueness to her environment. The way she describes texture and notices the different shifts of light and even the features of the people she meets makes her experience in Prythian all the more real and grounded.
  2. A quiet yet headstrong heroine that finds her strength within herself. Feyre isn't your typical super badass YA/NA heroine, she's vulnerable and wary and not too impressive but as the pages go by and you truly get to know her, you'll see a spark inside of her that isn't normally seen in other heroines. Her vulnerability is where she draws her strength and there is so much courage in that.
  3. ACOTAR is hot, hot, h-o-t. This book crosses the boundary of Young Adult to New Adult because of the intense sexual tension between Feyre and Tamlin. And trust me, there are some really spicy scenes in this book that will make you want to chug a glass of cold water to cool off. (*cough*Chapter 27*cough)
  4. I feel like Sarah J. Maas is the queen of hot fae men because holy Batman, the guys in this book are smoking. From the brooding High Lord Tamlin to the snarky, foxy emissary, Lucien, you will not run out of guys to choose from. (I am personally incredibly partial to Rhys, my Night Court High Lord bae. It's a mouthful... but that's what he is. Hahahahaha.)
  5. Other than the characters being insanely good looking, there's a complexity to them that you won't find anywhere else. Each character has their own backstory and agenda and the brings the plot to a whole new level (oh, Lucien...). Even more than that, ACOTAR will completely take you by surprise. The first half is amazing but buckle in your seatbelts because it gets even better. Sarah J. Maas elevates the Beauty and the Beast fairytale and completely owns it, you will not be disappointed.
And there you have it, my reasons as to why I loved ACOTAR (and why YOU need to read it, if you haven't yet). Also, do join my friend, Nicola, and I for #ACOTARQuizNight on April 30th; there'll be fun questions and great prizes! See you there!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

{Blog Tour} ARC Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Title: Tell Me Three Things
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date: April 5th 2016
ISBN: 9780399552939
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Fully Booked

What if the person you need the most is someone you’ve never met?

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I've never been a big Contemporary fan but I couldn't help but smile, laugh, cry and just enjoy my time while I was devouring this novel. There were so many aspects to this book that made me pause and just think about everything. Here are three things I really liked about Tell Me Three Things and reasons as to why you need to read it:

1. The struggles Jessie went through were so real and so relatable. There were even moments where I found myself nodding along to what was happening because I have felt and experienced those things as well: I've found myself not understanding my parents and estranged from them, fighting with my best friend because of a misunderstanding and most of all, feeling alone but managing to find someone to hold on to. There was so much depth to Jessie's story and her vulnerable moments made her so human and I couldn't help but build a connection to her character. I found traces of myself within her and because of those similarities, I was able to truly feel the message of Jessie's life and Tell Me Three Things even more. Trust me when I say that we'll all find pieces of ourselves in Jessie and that will give more meaning to this story for you (it's all very subjective).

2. The interactions between Jessie and those around her as well as the relationships built and remade were so compelling and weighty. I adored Jessie and Somebody/Nobody's (aka SN) emails/messages to each other. Their conversations gave the book a lighter feeling with a sweet touch of banter and flirtation. But it wasn't just cute moments between the two of them, there were heartfelt moments too and those were the ones that really struck me; they understood each other and in a way, their hearts were in the same place. There really was so much depth between the two of them. But even more than the Jessie and SN pairing, I have to give props to Scar, Jessie's best friend. Even though there was a big distance between the two of them, she was still there for Jessie and constantly lent her ear for her friend, even at her own expense. But honestly, out of all the relationships Jessie had built, it was the strained interactions with her father and her new family that really hit me. It was painful to see her want to understand what was happening but not being able to communicate that to her father; also, her denial over her new step-mother and -brother pulled that taut string even tighter (I did like her conversations with Theo, her step-brother, though, he's a cool guy). All the strings in Jessie's life where somehow interconnected and it was amazing to see certain strings get pulled to their limits but somehow not break. For me, the solution to most of the issues in the book was communication and being able to truly speak what's in your heart, and I think Julie Buxbaum was able to tackle that perfectly.

3. On a lighter note, while Tell Me Three Things was mostly about finding yourself and making amends and all that deep stuff, I really did enjoy the romance aspect of this book, as well as the mystery of who SN really is. I had my suspicions as to who he was and I really liked who he turned out to be. There was meaning to the journey of discovering his identity and that made the unveiling all the more exciting. There were a lot of "squee" moments for me in regards to the romance in this book; there were so many cute and awkward scenes that I couldn't help but be happy.

Julie Buxbaum was able to highlight so many parts of this book and give them all equal importance. I normally get bored with Contemporaries but that was not the case with this one, the story was so unique and so riveting that I actually couldn't stop reading. There's enough of everything to appeal to anyone's reading palette: a touch of angst, a little bit of romance and mystery, and a whole lot of depth in Tell Me Three Things. I cannot recommend this book enough.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

ARC Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Title: The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself enjoying The Glittering Court more than I expected myself to. What I originally thought would be a shallow and simple novel turned out to be a lot more nuanced and multi-layered. There were parts that were boring and just okay but the moments that shined made up for them; as corny as it may sound, this novel really did glitter.

The first few chapters were hard to get into because of how vapid the whole scenario seemed and "Adelaide" wasn't really interesting enough to make those boring moments better; but as the story slowly progressed, parts of Adelaide unfolded and showed deep and intimate parts of her. We've all heard stories of noble ladies wanting to escape the mundane life of being rich and finding a way to do something really exciting but with the way Richelle Mead characterised Adelaide, it made her different from the typical runaway-noble-lady trope. Sure she joined the Glittering Court to find a rich husband but the different facets of Adelaide will make you realise that there's so much more to her than being a countess. She was only able to show her wit, snark and guile when she joined the Court and those aspects of her made me like her all the more. I really enjoyed the scenes wherein she had to downplay her abilities when it came to etiquette and other courtly activities because in a way, she was also learning from her fellow Glittering Court ladies. There was really a lot of character growth in Adelaide and that contributed to the progression of the story, allowing it to be more open.

Romance wise, I liked the pacing of how the relationship between Cedric and Adelaide progressed. It wasn't an instant love, it was slow, tension-filled and insanely sweet. It was great to see how they started off as friends then pretty much became comrades sharing a mutual interest (and some secrets). And even more than their romance, I liked that Richelle Mead knew when to let the ball finally dropped, she didn't drag it for too long nor did she let it happen too fast; also, she left room for the plot to develop, she didn't completely stay in the whole Glittering Court/Cedric and Adelaide romance, there were a lot of small details that proved to be significant later into the story.

I honestly thought that this story would only be about Adelaide and her journey to love and riches but wow, there were so many more things that happened that I did not see coming (the blurb wasn't very forthcoming, which made the experience all the more enjoyable, seeing the different events unfold). There were a number of issues that popped up in the book, relating to religion, a little bit of politics and some other unexpected issues. Richelle Mead tackled them all efficiently and didn't try to micromanage everything; she gave each part room to be explained and resolved but also left some aspects of them open to interpretation.

The minor characters in the book also contributed to its success, in my opinion. The dynamic between Mira and Adelaide was great, their friendship was subtle and quiet but definitely took up a lot of space. I'm very excited to read Mira's book and see all the stuff mentioned in The Glittering Court about her get cleared up. However, I'm still apprehensive about Tamsin, I spent majority of the book disliking her attitude so the shift in her in the latter part of the novel took me by surprise so I'm not too sure what to feel about her. The characters each had a role to play and to me, they executed their performances perfectly.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what's next in store for the girls of the Glittering Court and whose book will be next (will it be Mira's? Or Tamsin's?). I really enjoyed The Glittering Court and it's great to see Richelle Mead deviate from her typical Paranormal/Urban Fantasy genres.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

ARC Review: The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

Title: The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I thought nothing could compare to the beauty that is The Wrath and the Dawn... but I was wrong. Renée Ahdieh managed to completely outdo herself with The Rose and the Dagger, everything was a thousand times more overwhelming and more amazing and just more. I honestly just sobbed my way through this book and not because it was super sad, but due to the fact that everything was so glorious that I couldn't react any other way. My heart was so full of everything that I just needed to release all those feels (it was either cry or laugh hysterically).

I didn't think it was possible but I fell even more in love with Shahrzad in The Rose and the Dagger, her personality was the same but there were also signs of change in her. She was so brave and so sassy that I was tempted to bow down to her (#queen). But in all seriousness, Shahrzad's journey in this book was so filled with love and selfless, there was never a moment in the book that she every thought about herself, she was either thinking about Khalid, Irsa, Tariq and pretty much everyone else. She had so many difficult decisions to make and being the intelligent girl she was, she was able to navigate properly and find the right path. I really enjoyed all the scenes wherein she was working on getting to know more about herself and her gifts, it was such a treat to read about her experience (also, the carpet!). From the beginning to the end of this book, Shahrzad embodied exactly what she was, a queen.

I don't think there will ever be a couple in YA that will surpass Shahrzad and Khalid's love, in my opinion. This whole series is basically about their passion and longing for each other and you will literally feel it pouring out of the pages. It was so surreal to have experienced such a completely profound love that didn't need words to be expressed; actions really do speak louder than words. Shahrzad and Khalid's love is the type of feeling that would probably give world peace, it's the type that songwriters write about, exactly the type readers love to read about -- it was a complete blast to the senses.

Everyone in The Rose and the Dagger had their own journey, there were multiple points-of-view and they were executed perfectly (again). There were times wherein some scenes would get too much of something and the POV gets shifted in the next scene and I really appreciated that because it was a reprieve from that something and even more than that, it was an opportunity to get to know the characters in the novel. I absolutely loved reading Irsa's POV, her coming of age and finding herself was a beautiful sight to see unfold. All the characters each had a distinct role to play that will surprise anyone and everyone. Speaking of surprises...

I seriously could not take all the twists in this book. Like, give my heart a break, Renée Ahdieh! Everything was so shocking that I had to take moments to myself to absorb and process what the hell just happened (did that seriously really happen?!?!?!). A friend of mine told me to guard my heart and that is also my advice to anyone who is going to devour this book because you are NOT prepared for all the crazy and incredible and gut-wrenching things Renée Ahdieh has in store for you, I kid you not.

I love that The Wrath and the Dawn is a duology because for me, it really says a lot about an author who can control the pace of his/her writing. Reading the books has been such an interactive process because Renée Ahdieh really includes the reader in her writing, she invites whoever is reading to come up with predictions, conclusions and even world-building. It was such a fascinating thing to experience. And can I just say? The end of this book and the series was perfect. Completely and absolutely perfect. You'll know what I mean when you read this phenomenal book.

Just an aside, I remember fangirling about Renée Ahdieh and her awesome, awesome details and food and I can guarantee to you that you will experience all of that and more in this novel. The food. Oh Lord. I was so tempted to munch on the pages because everything looked, smelled and sounded so good! Renée Ahdieh really has a talent for exceptional details and gorgeous writing.

If I could pick out every single star in the sky to give to this book as a rating, I would. And even then, they would not be enough because The Rose and the Dagger is everything anyone could ever want in a book: unbelievably gorgeous writing, a headstrong heroine, minor characters who shine and a stunning and unexpected ending. I just want to thank Renée Ahdieh for gifting the world with her extraordinary duology, it has been such a pleasure and honour to read and I am so freaking glad that I picked it up. Everyone need to experience this stunning series.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

ARC Review: Dreamers Often Lie by Jacqueline West

Title: Dreamers Often Lie
Author: Jacqueline West
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication date: Aprill 5th 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Jaye wakes up from a skiing accident with a fractured skull, a blinding headache, and her grip on reality sliding into delusion. Determined to get back to her starring role in the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Jaye lies to her sister, her mom, her doctors. She's fine, she says. She's fine. If anyone knew the truth - that hallucinations of Shakespeare and his characters have followed her from her hospital bed to the high school halls - it would all be over. She’s almost managing to pull off the act when Romeo shows up in her anatomy class. And it turns out that he's 100% real. Suddenly Jaye has to choose between lying to everyone else and lying to herself.

Troubled by the magnetic new kid, a long-lost friend turned recent love interest, and the darkest parts of her family's past, Jaye’s life tangles with Shakespeare's most famous plays until she can't tell where truth ends and pretending begins. Soon, secret meetings and dizzying first kisses give way to more dangerous things. How much is real, how much is in Jaye's head, and how much does it matter as she flies toward a fate over which she seems to have no control?
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

This book was trippy as heck. I want to read Dreamers Often Lie because I have a huge love for anything psychological and messed up but this novel was just one confused bundle of words. There were moments wherein I would find myself enjoying the scenes and then the moments passes because I get all kinds of confused again. Even after finishing the book, I still don't really even know what the whole plot is; all I have are fragmented pieces that I don't really even know how to put together.

I felt so bad for Jaye as I was reading all the things she was going through; other than having a head injury and hallucinating Shakespeare and his characters, she also had typical high school drama (emphasis on boy drama) so she did have a lot on her plate. But what was really so interesting in being in her head is that you get to experience firsthand the slow unraveling of her mind, it was so fascinating seeing her memories war with each other and it really makes you wonder if a lot of the things you're reading is actually true. But unfortunately, being in Jaye's head was so much more fun(?) than having to experience her everyday life. Even though her mind was kind of messed up, it was so much more straightforward than what was happening outside.

Writing-wise, I'd give Jacqueline West a thumbs up and half. There were moments where the prose was stunning, like I'd just bask in the darkness and intricacies of her writing but there were also times wherein everything felt disjointed. The shifting scenes and personalities bothered me a bit and kind of paused my enjoyment of what was happening. Also, I still have a lot of questions. A lot. I don't think I'm ever getting them answered since this is looking to be a standalone but seriously, that ending was really unsatisfactory. It wasn't one that would make a reader not his/her head because it was genius, no, it'll just confuse you and make you wonder if you bought an unfinished copy.

All in all, I appreciate Jacqueline West's effort (I know this is her first YA novel) and the uniqueness of Dreamers Often Lie made it an interesting read. Did I love it? No. Did I like it? I liked it enough (if only I wasn't so mind-effed by the end of it). There were parts of this book that really shined (scenes wherein Jaye would interact with Shakespeare and his characters) and there were parts that really just didn't belong (Pierce, why are you even in this book?) but the writing and those special scenes were enough to pull this book up. Don't bother looking for a plot though, because there isn't one.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (31)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews! It's where bloggers can share what they got for review, bought, borrowed, won or gifted (both physical and eBooks may be included! :D)

Here are the awesome bookish things I got recently:

For review:

*ARC* Dreamers Often Lie by Jacqueline West (Goodreads)
*ARC* The Glittering Court  (The Glittering Court #1) by Richelle Mead (Goodreads)
*ARC* The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh (Goodreads)
*ARC* A World Without You by Beth Revis (Goodreads)
*ARC* The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold #1) by Traci Chee (Goodreads)

*ARC* Everyone We've Been by Sarah Everett (Goodreads)
*ARC* And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White (Goodreads)


The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh (Goodreads)
[My review HERE.]


So many thanks to my amazing friends over at Penguin Random House International for sending over this sweet batch of books + swag. And also to Kate Evangelista for the cool No Love Allowed swag.

What did you get in the mail recently? Leave me a comment below and I'll check your post out!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 12th 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I am so tempted to smack myself to depriving my mind, body, heart and soul of this insanely beautiful book. I've read plenty of amazing novels in my time but oh Lord, I can promise you that I have only read one book other than The Wrath and the Dawn that I've deemed insanely beautiful. I did not know what to expect when I dove headfirst into The Wrath and the Dawn but it definitely wasn't this overwhelming story that gripped me from the first few chapters. I literally could not pull myself away from this book, I actually brought it with me everywhere. I kind of feel bad for not savouring it (because a book this beautifully written should definitely be savoured) but I feel like me devouring it as quickly as I did is a testament as to how amazing it is; which is, SO SO SOOO AMAZING.

If there's one thing I look for most in a Fantasy novel it's world-building. It is so hard to truly visual such a vast and complicated world without the aid of the author; and I think that Renée Ahdieh has mastered the art of weaving intricate threads and creating a complex and imaginative realm that any reader would not want to leave. I fell in love with Khorasan as much as I did with the people living in it.

I feel like I fall in love with heroines in a daily basis but Shahrzad will always have a very special place in my heart. Her courage and honesty is so refreshing and so completely bold that her personality caught me off-guard. It was the honesty in her hatred for Khalid that drew him to her and it was also that aspect of her that appealed her to me. It was such a rough yet enthralling experience seeing her attitude shift and mould into someone so fiercely loyal and open-hearted. Shahrzad's compassion and empathy really touched my heart while her stubbornness and wit never failed to bring a smile to my face.

My heart. Oh Lord, my heart. Renée Ahdieh's way with words broke my heart (in the best way possible) and built it up again. The slow yet intense build up in terms of Shahrzad and Khalid's romance is one of the best things I've ever experienced. My heart soared every moment they spent falling for each other, they were tension-filled, frustrating and so damn beautiful. I wish I could share all those amazing moments with you but you need to read the book for you to know what I'm talking about. This feeling cannot be explained, it can only be felt, completely and intensely. Thank you, Renée Ahdieh, for letting me experience such complete love and magic. I never knew love would feel like this.

KHALID. I don't even know what to say. His character has rendered me speechless. *insert sobbing emojis* I wish you were real. *more sobbing emojis*

I applaud Renée Ahdieh for her attention to even the smallest of details. The amount of time spent describing things made the book kind of slow but it added so much to the entirety of the novel. The different textures and sensations that were described actually made me feel like I was experiencing everything myself. And even more than those, the food that were featured in The Wrath and the Dawn? Oh my god. My mouth would not stop watering from all the amazing smells and visuals I got from the food. My inner foodie was in absolute heaven.

Another thing that made this book so cohesive were the secondary characters. Jalal, Despina, Tariq, and the others gave The Wrath and the Dawn so much personality and, well, character. They may have just been minor characters but they each had a role to play that contributed plenty to the story. Their character arcs were so interesting and complex and I am looking forward to seeing where they go in The Rose and the Dagger (thank god I have an ARC, lol). There were minor characters that really took me by surprise and I am very intrigued.

However, there is more to The Wrath and the Dawn than just its amazing array of characters and generous descriptions. The different high tension moments gave the book its thrill and excitement. Since this novel is actually very rich and carefully paced, the amount of action sequences in it weren't too many but that's what fit the story. Renée Ahdieh knew when to give and when to hold back, there was a great balance in the book.

The Wrath and the Dawn is one of the best books I have read of all time and I am so thankful that I decided to grab copy of it. There is so much magic to be read and discovered in The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh's masterful story-telling will take you to newfound heights and places you've never imagined with complex and beautifully woven details and characters. I am in complete awe of this book.